OSU Institute of Technology will celebrate its 203rd graduating class Friday, April 22, at 2 p.m. in Covelle Hall on the OSUIT campus in Okmulgee.
OSUIT alumna and Executive Chef Jennifer Hill Booker will give the commencement address and said she was honored to be selected as this year’s speaker.
“I have always been very proud of my time spent there, learning skills that have carried me far in my culinary career, and continue to do so,” Booker said.
Booker earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa, and subsequently chose to pursue her passion, graduating at the top of her class from OSUIT’s School of Culinary Arts.
She went on to earn top honors from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Paris, France with a Base de Cuisine certificate.
“OSUIT really prepared me for that experience because it was so hard,” she said. “A lot of my classmates quit.”
When she returned to the United States, her personal chef business continued to grow and she became an instructor teaching at the Le Cordon Bleu campus in Atlanta as well as starting the culinary program at Grayson Technical Education Program in Georgia.
Last year, Booker returned to OSUIT after the launch of her first cookbook, “From Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with A French Accent.”
She spent time in the kitchen with the culinary students and instructors before holding a book signing on campus and in Tulsa.
Chef Rene Jungo, dean of the School of Culinary Arts, said he is proud of his former student who is now sharing her knowledge and experience through her commencement address and her cookbook.
“I remember her vividly. She always had that outgoing drive to seek new horizons and an eagerness to learn,” Jungo said. “I am happy for her success.”
Booker said she’s thrilled to share just how important her time at OSUIT was with this semester’s graduating class and that graduation day is just the beginning.
“To speak to our current graduates and assure them that their time at OSUIT has prepared them to go out and pursue their dreams, is my dream come true,” she said.
For more information about OSUIT’s graduation contact Pat Singleton at 918-293-4942 or visit osuit.edu.